A MIDWIFE has told how she refused to believe doctors who warned her baby was ‘doomed’ based on a mantra that she used at work to advise other pregnant women.
The unborn tot’s slow growth meant she was given barely any chance of survival but because she was such an active baby her midwife mother refused to give up hope.
After refusing advice to terminate her baby, little Emie was born at 31 weeks weighing 1lb 11oz – but is now a perfectly healthy 11 month old proving her mother was right not to give up on her.
Mrs Scott said: ‘ I’ve always had trust in medical professionals but I had to follow my instinct. They were telling me she would die and to end the pregnancy but she was telling me otherwise by being such an active little baby. I had to decide who to listen to and I listed to her.
‘I was being advised to terminate until the end, but she was always so active on scans and I always tell my expectant mums that ‘an active baby is happy one.’ I couldn’t ignore my own advice despite my respect for the doctors.’
Joanne already had Ava, now four, when she fell pregnant in March 2015. Her first pregnancy had been easy, but this time around from 12 weeks things started to go wrong.
At the first scan the sonograopher was concerned that Joanne’s baby was small.
Joanne said: ‘ I could see she was really active though and knew from my work that had to be a good sign.’
But at 21 weeks she was still the size of an 18-week baby at 5 inches in length rather than 10.
Joanne, from Swindon, was referred to the Foetal Medicine Unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital for a more in depth scan.
After she and her husband IT consultant Chris Scott, 31, were told they suspected their daughter had a rare chromosome disorder that was not compatible with life.
The only way to know for sure was an amniocentesis tests which came with risk of miscarriage.
Doctors inserted a large needle into her bump and drew fluid to sample. Days later they were told the good news that it was clear, but it meant doctors were still baffled as to why their baby was not growing.
Another scan the following week showed the baby had barely grown and Joanne was told simply she was too small to survive.
She said: ‘I was advised to have a termination but I just kept looking at the screen and seeing her move and wondered how she could be so active if she was really going to die.
‘In the years I had worked as a midwife I had seen hundreds of mums an always told them that an active baby is a happy baby. I had to follow my own advice despite what they were telling me. I couldn’t terminate her just because she was small with no other reason.’
Then at 23 weeks she felt her baby kick for the first time. Joanne said: ‘ It felt like proof she was a fighter and though I was still being urged to terminate it was like she was telling me not to give up on her.’
But the medics did not agree and at 24 weeks Joanne and Chris were told there was an 85 per chance chance she would die in the womb.
Again they refused to terminate based on Joanne’s work mantra.
She had weekly scans which all ended the same way, with consultants advising she end the pregnancy.
At 27 weeks she was admitted with dangerously high blood pressure and again urged to end the pregnancy, this time for her own health. Again she refused, but doctors finally uncovered the reason her baby was so small.
Joanne said: ‘ They told me the placenta was only 50 percent attached so baby wasn’t getting all her nutrients.
‘Finally we knew why she was so tiny. It was a huge relief to know there was no underlying condition, she was just under nourished ’
Doctors decided to keep Joanne in hospital until her due date for monitoring.
She was told the baby needed to be at last 1lb to be considered viable.
On October 5th 2015 at 31 weeks gone she went into labour. Because she was suffering pre eclampsia she had an emergency C-section.
When she came round she was told Emie had been born weighing 1lb 11oz and incredibly was breathing by herself on the neo natal ward.
Joanne said: ‘ When I saw her I was shocked, her hand was the size of my fingernail but she was strong. She was perfect, but tiny.’
At two months old weighing 4lb 11oz she was allowed home on December 17th.
In June this year she was bridesmaid at her delighted parents wedding wearing.
She is now 11 months old and weighs 11lb 6oz, the same size as a three-month-old baby.
Joanne said: ‘ She might be small but she is thriving. She can sit up and loves trips to the park with her big sister.
‘She is chatting away and meeting all of her milestones.
‘When I look at her I wonder how they could have ever doubted her.
‘It’s terrifying to think that had I followed their advice my perfect girl would not be here now and I think mother’s need to listen to their instincts more.
‘I’ve always followed the advice of medical professions, but this time I listened to my heart and I was right.
‘My little fighter proved them all wrong.’
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